Evaluating health impacts of solar radiation management in a risk-risk framework

This project was contracted and funded by the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), a unit of UNESCO, as part of the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI)

Project summary

Based at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, this international team investigated how SRM could affect the spread of infectious diseases, focusing on malaria and cholera. The goal was to advance the science and understanding of SRM impacts by incorporating a planetary health perspective, while building capacity in Bangladesh for research exploring health impacts of SRM and climate change more broadly. Led by Dr Shafiul Alam, the project began with a systematic assessment of possible links between SRM and altered health outcomes, identifying knowledge gaps where closer collaboration between climate and health scientists can improve understanding of SRM health impacts. The team conducted the first simulation-based projections of how SRM could affect infectious disease transmission.

Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The team


Dr Mohammad Shafiul Alam

University of Buenos Aires & CONICET (Principal Investigator)

Dr Mohammad Shafiul Alam is Associate Scientist at the Emerging Infections & Parasitology Laboratory at icddr,b. Dr Alam received his MSc and PhD degrees in Parasitology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and conducted his postdoctoral training at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Australia through the FIT2 fellowship program. Dr Alam has an extensive research experience on vector borne diseases. His broad research interest concerns but is not limited to malaria drug resistance, point of care diagnostics for infectious diseases, host-parasite interactions, vector control and the impact of climatic factors on vector borne diseases with a particular focus on malaria. He has become an independent investigator of several projects and studies, continuing to contribute in different capacities for last 12 years. Dr Alam also received a number of grants through competitive processes, and published about 40 research articles in peer-reviewed international journals as well as two book chapters. Trainings from different institutes like the University of Tokyo, the Fondation Mérieux, PATH and the University of Washington have helped Dr Alam enrich his scientific endeavours.
DECIMALS_grantee_Rahman (Mofiz)

Mohammed Mofizur Rahman

International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (Co-PI)

Mohammed Mofizur Rahman is a Planetary Health Researcher from Bangladesh. He is an Environmental Scientist by training and investigating health consequences of environmental change (including climate change) and adaptation strategies in low lying river deltas. He has recently joined a Masters Program in Germany as Alexander von Humboldt Climate Protection Fellow, but he is still collaborating with the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, one of the leading public health institutes in the Global South, working on life-saving solutions. His research is guided by trans-disciplinary research methodologies and resilience thinking. His future research goal is to move towards solution-oriented research to protect people and planet from the negative consequences of climate change. He is deeply involved with the communities who need climate change knowledge and services the most.

Dr Colin Carlson

University of Maryland & Georgetown University

Dr Colin Carlson is a global change biologist, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with a joint appointment at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University. His research concerns the relationship between biodiversity loss, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases; his work is often conducted on interdisciplinary teams with doctors, ecologists, geographers, statisticians, and social scientists. During his PhD work at UC Berkeley, he developed the first global map of two major emerging infections (anthrax and Zika virus), and projected the response of over 400 parasite species to climate change, finding that up to a third of parasites might be committed to extinction by 2070. His research since encompasses several cutting-edge quantitative topics in ecology and epidemiology, including the reconstruction of recent biological extinctions; the macroecology and diversity of parasitic organisms; the development of new tools for mapping tick distributions using tick-host network data; and most recently, the projection of dengue and Zika transmission risk in the face of global climate change.
Aziz Badat

Sobiya Aziz Badat

ICCCAD & Independent University, Bangladesh

Sobiya Aziz Badat is from Lahore, Pakistan and is currently a student of Environmental Science at the Independent University Bangladesh. She is an intern at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and has a keen interest in research. Having a minor in Anthropology, the research methodology and the inclusion of social science in the paradigm of natural science attracts her the most. Sobiya is an executive member of the Green Planet club at the university that works on social and environmental causes on and off campus. She works efficiently and effectively in team settings and has good analytical skills. In her spare time, Sobiya loves to crochet and travel with her family.

Prof. Shweta Bansal

Georgetown University


Prof. Rita Colwell

University of Maryland & Johns Hopkins University

Dr Rita Colwell is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and President of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health. She has authored or co-authored 19 books and more than 800 scientific publications. Dr Colwell served as 11th Director of the National Science Foundation and Co-chair of the Committee on Science, National Science and Technology Council. Dr Colwell served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington Academy of Sciences, and American Society for Microbiology. Dr Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Royal Irish Academy, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society. Dr Colwell has been awarded 62 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education and is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan, 2006 National Medal of Science awarded by the President of the United States, and 2010 Stockholm Water Prize awarded by the King of Sweden, and the 2018 Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize of Singapore. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, has been named in recognition of her work in the polar regions.

Mohammad Sharif Hossain

International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh & University of Oxford

Mohammad Sharif Hossain has been working as a Senior Statistical Officer at icddr,b since 2010. During these 8 years, he developed different databases for different public health related project at icddr,b including health and demographic household surveillance as well as the Bandarban and Bangladesh national malaria survey 2013. He has carried out statistical analysis for multiple projects using different statistical software, including SPSS, STATA, and R. He also worked as a Data Manager in different clinical trials at icddr,b where his role was to ensure that the data were collected according to the protocol. He is a co-author of 8 articles published in peer-reviewed journal. Currently, he is a TDR/WHO clinical research fellow hosted by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) at the University of Oxford. The objectives of his fellowship are to improve and understand clinical trial management, data processes, and statistical analysis through the WWARN clinical trials database. He received his Master’s degree in Applied Statistics from the University of Dhaka in 2009. In his spare time, he loves to travel and explore new places, and enjoys playing cricket and hiking.
DECIMALS_grantee_Rahman (Feisal)

Dr Mohammad Feisal Rahman

ICCCAD & Independent University, Bangladesh

Feisal is an Environmental Engineer by training and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the department of Environmental Science at Independent University, Bangladesh. He also is the Research Coordinator at ICCCAD in Dhaka (International Centre for Climate Change and Development). His expertise lies in the area of climate change adaptation, adaptation technology, M&E of adaptation and low carbon development. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He also has a Master’s degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh. At ICCCAD, Feisal has been involved with several programmes of the Centre, such the Climate Governance Programme, Climate Finance Programme, Urban Climate Change Resilience Programme, and the Adaptation Technology Programme. He is part of the ICCCAD team that is currently working on the scoping project for M&E of adaptation commissioned by the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT). Feisal has also been part of a natural resource development network of 14 Universities led by TH Köln, Germany, which focuses on capacity development in managing and allocating natural resources. Feisal’s previous research focused on drinking water quality and treatment. He was a teaching assistant and a frequent guest lecturer at two Canadian Universities.
Prof. Robock (Rutgers University) volunteered his time by reviewing applications to the DECIMALS fund and advising on the design of the DECIMALS fund.

Prof. Alan Robock

Rutgers University

Dr Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 with a B.A. in Meteorology, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an S.M. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Meteorology. Before graduate school, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. He was a professor at the University of Maryland, 1977-1997, and the State Climatologist of Maryland, 1991-1997, before coming to Rutgers. Prof. Robock has published 400 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including more than 240 peer-reviewed papers. His areas of expertise include geoengineering, climatic effects of nuclear war, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, and soil moisture. He serves as Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences. His honours include being a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the AMS Jule Charney Award. He recently served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the 2013 Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons” based on the work of Prof. Robock.

Dr Christopher Trisos

University of Maryland & University of Cape Town

Chris Trisos is an ecologist whose research focuses on ecology and global change. His current research is focused in three areas: 1) understanding the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems and human health; 2) developing scenarios to understand the potential impacts of climate engineering technologies on people and biodiversity; 3) combining insights from ecology and social sciences to sustainably manage interlinked social and environmental systems. Chris is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Africa chapter on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the IPCC 6th Assessment Report, and has consulted on climate change for the World Bank. He completed his PhD at Oxford, and held a postdoc fellowship at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland.